Team India who dominated the 1st Test at Galle thoroughly continued their ruthlessness and yet again batted out the hosts of the 2nd Test in the very 1st day itself. It will be safe to say that after India’s brilliance in the opening day it is practically impossible for this Sri Lankan side to stage a comeback.
Meanwhile, here is the video of Rahane to getting to his hundred:
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 3, 2017
Shikhar Dhawan couldn’t quite carry on from where he left in the opening Test and could only manage 35 before being trapped in front by Dilruwan Perera. Cheteshwar Pujara produced yet another magical performance in his 50th Test and notched up his 13th Test century. Ajinkya Rahane, on the other hand, played a terrific counter-attacking innings and remained unbeaten on 103 to help India finish on 344/3 at the end of the opening day’s play.
So with the opening day of the 2nd Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club done and dusted let us take a look at the 5 Talking Points from the day
5. KL Rahul spends some time in the middle
Opener KL Rahul made his comeback and looked in good touch. He wasn’t seen in action since March and spending some time in the middle was needed for the young man and he did exactly that. Rahul struck some delightful shots en route to his half-century before a massive mix up with Cheteshwar Pujara cost him his wicket on 57.
He would have surely wanted to convert yet another start to a century but it wasn’t to be but the Karnataka lad will be happy with the fact that he spent some time in the middle after such a long time.
4. Malinda Pushpakumara’s debut
The relatively unknown commodity in the international circuit Malinda Pushpakumara was handed his maiden Test cap but you will be shocked to hear his first-class record. The left-arm orthodox spinner has already played 99 first class matches and has bagged as many as 558 wickets at an extraordinary average of fewer than 20 runs per wicket.
He wasn’t given a chance earlier because his age has already crossed 30 and the younger spinners were given a break ahead of him. Despite his impressive first class record he failed to make his mark in his debut Test and ended up conceding 82 runs in his spell without taking a wicket.
3. Horrendous bowling by the Sri Lankan spinners
Despite the pitch assisting the spinners, the Lankan spinners were all over the park and kept on conceding runs to the star-studded Indian batting order. Virat Kohli was dismissed by Rangana Herath but it wasn’t a wicket taking delivery under any stress of imagination and it was a sensational catch by Angelo Mathews at slips which helped Sri Lanka bag the wicket.
Herath and Dilruwan Perera bagged a wicket each but was smashed all over the park by Pujara and Rahane in particular.
2. Pujara continues his fairy tale in Sri Lanka
Cheteshwar Pujara went on to notch up yet another century against the Sri Lankans especially in their backyard and now has 3 centuries in the Island nation in as many matches. He looked sedate at the start and grinded for his initial runs before taking on the charge in the 2nd session. He made 70 odd in the 2nd session and stepped down the track to the spinners on a consistent basis.
He again applied himself brilliantly in the final session and stitched together a sensational partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the 4th wicket. Pujara’s unbeaten knock of 128 was laced with 10 hits to the fence and a solitary six.
1. Ajinkya Rahane’s counter-attacking note
Rahane joined Pujara in the middle at a crucial juncture of the game. It was the time when Virat Kohli and KL Rahul fell in quick succession and India needed to apply themselves to bail them out of trouble. Rahane played some delightful shots to get his innings going and it was his flurry of boundaries which yet again put the hosts on the back foot.
He kept growing in confidence and went on to register yet another century. His innings of 103* was decorated with 12 hits to the fence.